How to prepare yourself for a gastric bypass
Soon the time will come. The surgery date is getting closer and closer. Maybe you are looking forward to it, maybe not. A gastric bypass is not something to take lightly. You are about to enter an exciting time in which you will be confronted with many new things. So it’s good to know what to expect. In this blog we give you some clever tips to help you get prepared.
1. Eating and drinking before surgery
After surgery your diet will change dramatically. But did you know that it’s important to start with healthy eating and drinking habits even before surgery? This way you get used to them and it’s easier to keep them up later. A few tips:
- Spread your meals throughout the day. Eat small meals 6 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 snacks) rather than 3 large meals.
- Choose healthy foods rich in protein, calcium and healthy fats, like vegetables and fruit, dairy such as milk and yogurt, lean meat such as chicken or a handful of unroasted, unsalted nuts
- Drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day, preferably water. Do not take sugary drinks (including fruit juices) and avoid carbonated drinks
- Do not eat too fast and chew your food well. It’s best not to eat and drink at the same time. Make sure there is half an hour between each
- Is the surgery date getting closer? Try to slowly reduce the amount of food you eat. This way you will already get used to smaller portions.
2. Choose protein
Protein is an important building block for your body. It’s a real powerhouse that is important for maintaining strong bones and muscles. After a stomach reduction your body needs time to recover, both from the anesthesia and the operation. And in addition to fatty tissue, you can also lose muscle. Protein helps with your recovery and contributes to building and maintaining muscle. Therefore, it is smart to consume extra protein in the weeks before surgery. Choose sufficient protein rich foods, such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs and legumes. Or take an extra protein shake daily.
3. The right start
Cliché but true: a good start is half the battle. The same is true of gastric bypass surgery. The healthier you are when you enter the operating room, the better. Many overweight or obese people have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A deficiency disrupts bodily processes and can cause all kinds of symptoms. By starting with WLS Start, our pre-operative multivitamin, you can supplement possible deficiencies. With WLS Start you work on healthy blood values and healthy hair. You also reduce the risk of deficiencies after surgery. Therefore, it is essential to continue taking multivitamins after surgery.
4. Prepare for important conversations
You get a call from the hospital, but when you hang up you’ve already forgotten most of it. Or you have contact with a dietitian, but during the conversation you do not remember what you wanted to ask. This is quite normal because of all the tension and emotions. These tips can help you:
- Before you enter the conversation, think about what you want to know or ask. Write it down, take your notes with you and record your answers during the consultation
- Tell the doctor or nurse about your symptoms and how long you have been suffering from them
- Point it out if you don’t understand what a doctor is saying. It helps to repeat in your own words what you think the doctor means
- Are you facing a difficult decision? You don’t have to answer right away. Say you need time to think about it
- Bring your partner, friend or family member to the conversation. Not only because it’s familiar, together you’ll remember more and be able to talk more.
5. Read up and get inspired
What exactly does the surgery involve? What do I take with me to the hospital besides warm socks and comfortable clothes? And what awaits me after the operation? The hospital or clinic where you are being treated will provide a lot of information. You can also read more about a gastric bypass on our website. We share inspiration, tips and recipes on our social pages. And you can join communities, for example on Facebook. In this way you can meet like-minded people, ask each other questions and motivate each other.
6. Ask for help
There is plenty happening surrounding your surgery. Don’t think you have to do everything yourself. Take the time for your recovery and ask those around you for help. Tell colleagues that you are having surgery. Ask acquaintances to help you with errands, transportation or taking care of your pet. FitForMe is also always here for you. We are there for questions, advice or a listening ear. Here you can schedule a free consultation with one of our dieticians.
7. Preparing for the weeks after your surgery
De operatie is achter de rug. De chirurg is tevreden en na een paar dagen mag je lekker naar huis. Maar thuis ontdek je dat de koelkast leeg is. Je hebt niets in de kast wat je nu mag en kunt eten. Dat wil je natuurlijk voorkomen. Bereid jezelf daarom goed voor. De eerste 2 weken na de operatie eet je alleen vloeibaar omdat slikken nog pijnlijk is. Zorg daarom dat je genoeg vloeibaar en voedzaam eten in huis hebt. Denk aan gebonden soepen, bouillon, yoghurt en kwark of havermout. Maak alvast kleine porties eten klaar om in te vriezen. Je hoeft het dan alleen maar te ontdooien en op te warmen.
Vragen? Stel ze ons!
The surgery is behind you. The surgeon is satisfied and after a few days you can go home. But at home you discover that the refrigerator is empty. You have nothing in the cupboard that you can and are allowed to eat now. Of course you want to avoid that. So prepare yourself well. The first two weeks after surgery you will only eat liquid foods because swallowing is still painful. Make sure you have enough liquid and nutritious food in the house, like soups, broth, yogurt and cottage cheese, Bambix, Brinta or oatmeal. Prepare small portions of food to freeze. Then you only need to defrost and reheat it.
Questions? Ask us!
If you are undergoing gastric bypass surgery, you will receive guidance from the hospital and your GP. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask questions. In addition, it is a good idea to look at your diet with a dietitian after surgery. That way you can be sure that you are getting the right food in the right quantities.
We are also here for you. Both before and after surgery. Do you have any questions? Feel free to let us know. Our dietitians will be happy to help you. Discover how to reach us here.